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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eleven Plus Winners

The Ruy Lopez opening in chess was named after the Spanish priest who wrote about it in one of the first chess books in 1561. Chess is a game played on a checkered board divided into 64 squares, with 16 chessmen on each side. The colours of the opponents are varied – with a king, a queen, two knights, two bishops, two castles and eight pawns.

Each piece can be moved in a manner peculiar to itself. The queen, of course, has the widest range of movements. The tactics attempt to simulate military strategy.

Some people think that the game was devised in India and passed through Persia (as the country was known) to Spain and Europe. There have been successions of brilliant grand masters.

Some children take to the game remarkably quickly and it takes an astoundingly short time to explain where and when a piece can move. There are many examples of chess games being played in real time through the internet. There are also websites which explain and help with learning and consolidating the rules.

One exponent of the Ruy Lopez opening was Nigel Short when he was just twelve years old.

He started off by moving his pawn to the King’s pawn 4. (This is three places in front of the King.) P-KP4.

His opponent relied with P-KP4

Short then moved his knight to the space in front of the King’s bishop. Kt – KB3.

His opponent countered with his knight to the Queen’s bishop. Kt – QB3.

The next move by Sort was B-Kt5. In other words his bishop was moved to the centre of the board – trying to take control of the centre of the board.

Nigel Short went to Bolton School – which was established as Bolton Grammar back in around 1516. He was playing chess from a very early age and became a Grand Master when he was still remarkably young – beating the best in the world at times.

When you begin to learn to play chess you are often encouraged to learn the rationale behind the moves – few chess teachers would try to teach the moves. Chess disciples are encouraged to study and learn chess ideas rather than chess moves. There are parallels with learning and studying many eleven plus topics. If your child is able to understand the idea behind the topic rather than try to learn the topic then enlightenment may come earlier.

Chess is played to win. The eleven plus is studied to win a place at a grammar school. Encourage your child to attack and defend. An eleven plus win has to be earned – no one can grant it.

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